Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging
Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

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Exploring learning disabilities: supporting belonging

2.1 Attending a special school

But what is it like to actually attend a special school?

Activity 4 First hand experiences of going to a special school

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes

Watch this video of Dayo, Cian, Shaun and Terry discussing their experiences of special education.

Download this video clip.Video player: Video 3
Skip transcript: Video 3

Transcript: Video 3

DAYO
Yeah, I had some positive times when I was in school, when I was in college.
CIAN
When I was very young, from when I was about 3 to 5, I went to a mainstream primary school. This was when I was like in reception class. But I was so badly behaved that the teachers could not be dealing with me. So I had to go to a special school. The thing about the special school is because of my autism and the environment I was kind of in, I had a lot of anxiety, you know. And, but I think the teachers, obviously, the teachers never really gave me the benefit of the doubt.
SHAUN
My special school, [INAUDIBLE] one was, again, in between. I had people with a disability trying to pull my trousers down, which was very inappropriate and very difficult. And then when I was 15, I spoke to my table, and said that I had been sexually abused. And then I wascalled gay. And so that was even more difficult.
TERRY
I was abullied a lot, called names, frequently attacked and all that sort of stuff. The good bits was when I got into secondary school. I was good at sports. So I can go to competitions for the school.
DAYO
I used to-- like whenever-- whenever there's a lesson that I used to go to like science and science and maths. I even do, was it PE when I was in school. And I also did the, when we , did the drama, when we did the play called Joseph. And I was the narrator, you know. It was-- it was-- a lot-- a lot-- a lot of-- it was a lot of good experience.
End transcript: Video 3
Video 3
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Pick out some of the experiences that people talked about in relation to their experience of special school:

a. 

Being listened to


b. 

Being bullied


c. 

Having opportunities to do extra-curricular activities


d. 

Not being taken seriously


e. 

Feeling very supported


The correct answers are b, c and d.

While there were some positive experiences recounted by the people on the film, you may have been surprised by how many bad experiences they discussed. This even included a case of abuse not being taken seriously. The film does not convey experiences of school that were highly supportive or nurturing. However, Dayo and Terry did give examples of some of the good things they did while at special school, such as getting involved in sports and drama.

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